A Mandatory Day Off For Major Elections in California? It Could Happen

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Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 7:04 AM

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A day off just to go vote in California?

It could happen. Not that some public employees need another excuse to take a day off on our dime. Unfortunately the people who could really use the paid time off will probably be working anyway.

Still, a proposal for a statewide November voting holiday during even numbered election years got one step closer to reality this week:

Secretary of State Debra Bowen gave backers of the initiative the green light to begin collecting signatures.

If they get 504,760 valid signatures from registered voters by Sept. 1, you'll be able to vote on this.

The initiative would let you take a day for presidential and gubernatorial elections. (Higher turnout usually favors Democrats, so we're guessing this is a left-side proposal).

This little bit of extra Democracy will cost you, however: State analysts say California would foot an extra $20 million per major election to cover the pay of state employees who want to have a voters' holiday.

Worth it?

Added: To clarify, the measure would declare even-year major election days state holidays, which would be mandatory days off for California employees but optional for all other workplaces -- depending on what the boss says.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

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